SELF-IDENTIFICATION DETERMINED THROUGH STAGES OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Key Extracts from Lecture 189
© The Pathwork® Foundation 1999
Consciousness has experienced, through processes impossible to convey to the human understanding, a separation so that aspects of consciousness ‘float around’ in the universe, if I may use this expression. Every trait familiar to human understanding, every attitude known in creation, every aspect of personality is one of many manifestations of consciousness. Every one of them that is not yet integrated into the whole needs to be unified, synthesized, made part of the harmonious whole. It requires a leap of your imagination to comprehend the concept I am trying to convey here. Can you imagine for a moment that many traits familiar to you, which you have always associated with the person as existing only through a person, are not the person per se, but are free-floating particles of the overall consciousness, whether these be good or evil traits… Take love or perseverance or sloth or laziness… or impatience or kindness or stubbornness or malice. It matters not what it is, they all need to be incorporated into the manifesting personality. Only then does purification, harmonization, and enrichment of the manifesting consciousness take place, which create the evolutionary process of unifying the separated particles of consciousness… The human being is a conglomeration of aspects of consciousness. Some are already purified, some have always been pure and are thus part of the individuality, no longer separate and therefore disharmonious. They form an integrated whole. Other aspects are negative, destructive and are thus separate. They may be likened to appendices. It is the task of each human being in each incarnation to synthesize, unify, and assimilate various such aspects of consciousness. If you truly try to comprehend what I say here you may find that this is a novel way of explaining human existence… The human predicament is the nonunderstanding of what is going on, the blindness with which the individual is involved in the struggle, and his deliberate attempt to perpetuate this blindness.
There is a real self that equals neither the negative aspects, nor the adamant self-annihilation, nor the pretense that covers it all up. For finding this real self is our concern. Before the universal self can fully manifest in you, there is already one aspect of it which is available right now, which can be immediately realized. This is your conscious self at its best, as it is now. It is a limited present manifestation of your spiritual being, but it is truly yourself. It is the ‘I’ you need so as to make order in all your confusion. This already manifest consciousness exists in many realms of your life – and you take it for granted. But you have not yet brought it to bear on the area of this conflict where you continue to be blindly controlled by the false self-identity, or rather its consequences. The ‘I’ that is able to make a decision, for instance, to truly face this conflict, to observe its various expressions – this is the self with which you may safely identify.
To the extent the conscious self uses its already existing knowledge of truth, its already existing power to execute its good will, its already existing capacity to be positive, committed, truthful, courageous, and persevering in the struggle in question, its already existing ability to choose the attitude to the problem, to exactly that degree the consciousness expands and becomes increasingly more infiltrated by the spiritual consciousness. The spiritual consciousness cannot manifest when the already existing consciousness is not fully put to use in the conduct of one's life. Out of using it, new inspiration, new realms of vision and understanding, of profound wisdom and experience well up from the depth of the person. But as long as the line of least resistance is followed and the personality gives in to blind involvement; as long as he gives up on finding a true self-identity and settles blindly for a would-be existence; as long as he follows the rut, stuck in the old groove of habitual reacting and then explaining this away cheaply; as long as he indulges in compulsive thinking, in negative, hopeless circular thinking, for that long the consciousness of the self – as it exists now – is not fully put to use.
But the moment you acknowledge the hitherto unacceptable, you cease to be the unacceptable, but you are identified with that in you that is capable of the acknowledgment, that decides to acknowledge! By not acknowledging the aspects you hate in yourself, you are blind to them, hence helplessly controlled by them. By acknowledging them, something else takes over that can do something about them even if that something is, to begin with, merely to observe and to grope for some deeper understanding of the underlying dynamics. It is a totally different situation when you are identified with the ugly traits or when you identify them. The moment you identify them, you cease being identified with them… The moment you identify the destructive aspects, name them, state them, articulate them, observe them, it is that which identifies, names, states, articulates, and observes that is the self with which you can truly and safely and realistically identify… How different your attitude to yourself must be when you realize that it is the task of human entities to carry negative aspects with them for the purpose of integrating and synthesizing them! This affords truthfulness without hopelessness. What a dignity it lends to you when you consider that you undertake an important task for the sake of evolution… Every human being fulfills an immense task in the universal scale of evolution. An entity who does not offer, let us say, to fulfill such a task may be quite free, purified, evolved, and harmonious, but it is not contributing to evolution, as any one of you here does. This gives you a great dignity… Do not ever forget that you are not your ugly traits.
You hear so much today about the concept of consciousness expansion. Often this is believed to be a magical process that suddenly occurs. It is not. To attain true spiritual consciousness, it is necessary to pay attention first to the material within you that you have not yet fully used, that you are not fully using right now. Every minute of depression or anxiety, every hopeless or otherwise negative attitude towards a situation, contains various other options. But it requires an act of inner will on your part to waken forces in you that are now dormant and to make them available. Then, when the already available potentialities are being used, a much greater power of spiritual consciousness unfolds as an organic expression, gradually. Often people go through various spiritual practices and wait for a miraculous manifestation of the greater consciousness, while their immediate mind and thought power is ensnarled in the same grooves of negative attitudes, feeling, thinking, and outlook. They must either be disappointed, or they experience delusions.
You can say, for example, ‘It is likely and predictable that I will forget and become involved again in the old blindness and its conditioned reflexes. But this need not deter me. I will have to struggle again and grope to find, over and over again, my key. But I will do this, I can do this and can thereby gradually build new strength, resources, and energies. I will not be deterred by the fact that the building of a beautiful edifice needs patience. I will not be childish enough to expect this to be done at once. I want it and will use all my powers to do it, but I will be patient and realistic. I would like the spiritual powers in me to guide me, but if I cannot perceive the guidance yet because at the beginning of this undertaking my energies are too dense and my consciousness too dulled, I will trust and wait and persevere. I want to give my very best to the venture of living. I will try over and over again to face, to observe, to name, to identify what I do not like without being identified with it. I will grope for new ways of understanding it all so that I will eventually grow out of it.’ Such an attitude is at your disposal. It is not magic. It is an immediately available choice.